Winter in Napa Valley offers cool weather, mulled wine, and scenic opportunities to connect with your loved ones. During the holiday season, wine country offers so much more than just wine. Napa Valley is teeming with festivals and activities the whole family will love.
1. Ice skating
Every winter, Meritage Resort & Spa in Napa Valley turns into a winter village called Merry Meritage, offering an array of fun, family-friendly attractions to celebrate the holidays. Head to Merry Meritage’s ice rink, where you can glide across the ice with family and friends. Purchase beer and wine from on-site tasting rooms to enjoy rink-side, and reserve one of the fire pits to stay warm. Don’t miss Holiday Carolers performing your holiday favorites on Saturdays and Sundays from 2:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m.
2. Visit (and read!) with Santa
Holidays with kids wouldn’t be complete without a meet-and-greet with Mr. Claus. Stop by Merry Meritage on weekends from November 26th through December 19th to meet Santa Claus and participate in Christmas storytime. This season, three local, bestselling children’s book authors will be featured, including Caitlyn Wallinger, Shana Bull, and Stephanie Diehl.
3. Wreath making
Stop by McEvoy Ranch to delight in their most popular workshop of the year, the Wreath Making Workshop. You’ll learn the fundamentals of wreath making and use seasonal elements available on the ranch, including rosemary, bay, and lavender. Dress comfortably and bring your favorite gardening gloves and pruner for this hands-on experience, utilizing fresh, festive embellishments to create a unique wreath. Design a holiday wreath, then head to the tasting room patio and enjoy a glass of wine.
4. Holiday Open House
An event that Santa Rosa residents look forward to every holiday season is the Holiday Open House. Locals and visitors flock to the historic home and garden of Luther Burbank to celebrate the 40-year community tradition and begin the season’s celebrations. The home is decked out in old-fashioned holiday decor inside and out. The event is volunteer-run and a perfect way to start your family’s holiday season on a fun and festive note.
5. Lighting of the Sonoma Plaza
The Lighting of the Sonoma Plaza is a beloved tradition that kicks off the holiday season in wine country. See thousands of shimmering lights in Sonoma’s historic plaza and enjoy musical and dance performances, hot cocoa and cookies, beer and wine, and hearty fare from favorite local food trucks.
6. Yappy Hour
The lovely staff of River Terrace Inn understands that pups are a part of happy holiday traditions. Treat your four-legged friends to Santa Paws Yappy Hour on Dec. 15th. With the Napa River as the backdrop, you’ll enjoy cocktails, holiday prizes, and snacks for people and pups. Costumes are encouraged and RSVPing is essential because space is limited.
7. Winter Wonderland
Gualala Arts’ Winter Wonderland runs from November 26th through December 31st, sharing holiday cheer with visitors of all ages. This free, family-friendly event features an array of fantastic gift ideas, such as Gualala Arts-branded caps, tee-shirts, wine glasses, champagne flutes, and more. Enter the Holiday Raffle and wander through the Dolphin Gallery to view the artwork. The Bell Ringers will perform holiday music, and Santa and Mrs. Claus will have their special mailbox to accept children’s letters to Santa.
8. Calistoga Holiday Village
Join the Calistoga Chamber of Commerce for the 2021 Holiday Village in Pioneer Park. Calistoga Winegrowers present the North Pole Wine Garden, Evangeline offers holiday treats and gumbo, and Pink Elephant Concessions offers cotton candy. Revel in the sound of carolers as you glimpse the holiday tree lighting and watch your kids meet Santa and Mrs. Claus.
9. Scandinavian Christmas in the Tasting Room
Celebrate the advent of Christmas at West Wines’ Scandinavian Christmas event. This cultural soirée will feature gifts for the holidays such as genuine Swedish Christmas decor, the popular “tomte” Swedish Christmas gnomes, wine glasses, champagne flutes, wine glass charms, and of course—wine! Sip on glögg, a hot mulled wine made with cinnamon, cloves, ginger, raisins, and more. This spicy and flavorful drink is traditionally served in Scandinavian countries during the four weeks leading up to Christmas.
Pick up a bottle of wine or two for your family events. West Wines recommends West Seafoam, a sparkling wine, or the Late Harvest Viognier dessert wine for a post-Christmas dinner delight.
Sampling homes for sale in wine country?
Can you see yourself celebrating your future holidays in Sonoma County or Napa Valley? Contact Marquis Farwell Homes for answers to all of your questions about real estate in wine country. Whether you’re in the market for a house in Healdsburg, a seasonal home in Sebastopol, or luxury real estate in any of the area’s remarkable communities—Marquis Farwell Homes will lead your house hunting journey with unmatched regional expertise and customer service.